Hybrid Superstar Shines Brighter


Not only did the Prius help to prove that hybrid gas-electric powertrains can be feasible, reliable and desirable, the car has become the object of cultlike affection and a social statement.

In the decade since the first Prius was introduced in the United States, more than 1.2 million have been sold worldwide. According to Toyota, 8 out of 10 Prius owners say they would buy another.


Few cars on the road today have been genuine game-changers, but the Toyota Prius is certainly high among those that are. Not only did the Prius help to prove that hybrid gas-electric powertrains can be feasible, reliable and desirable, the car has become the object of cultlike affection and a social statement.


In the decade since the first Prius was introduced in the United States, more than 1.2 million have been sold worldwide. According to Toyota, 8 out of 10 Prius owners say they would buy another.In keeping with its plans to increase hybrid sales to one million a year in the next few years (from 241,405 in 2008), Toyota is introducing a third-generation Prius in May.


Will the new version of this iconic vehicle sustain the respect of its admirers? Will making the 2010 Prius slightly bigger and slightly faster add to the appeal, or will the upsizing backfire?Or is it enough to say that the new Prius — regardless of how many adults it seats comfortably, how much luggage it carries or how the battery pack is now expected to last the life of the car — is rated at 50 miles a gallon?


Toyota says the new car completed the government‘s test cycle with an economy rating of 51 m.p.g. in city driving and 48 m.p.g. on the highway. Combined mileage came out at an industry-leading 50 m.p.g. In much of the nation these days, you can fill the Prius’s 11.9-gallon tank for less than $20.Pulse-and-glide is the technique that I recently used to achieve 65 m.p.g. in another new hybrid, the 2010 Honda Insight. Basically, it consists of goosing the gas pedal for about 10 seconds to bring up the speed and torque efficiency of the gasoline engine, then gliding with your foot off the accelerator for a few seconds to bring in maximum benefit from the electric motors. You can monitor the effect this style is having by watching the “instantaneous fuel consumption meter” and the new “hybrid system indicator” graph on the information-laden dashboard display.

~ by bestbooter on April 4, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: